As some may remember, I have spoken about the reading aloud of books by my father before. I don't recall whether it was on this blog or in some other venue. Therefore I will draw you that picture again. Dad, every year when we were young, would read us The Other Wiseman. It was a very long story every year (when you are young and Christmas presents are waiting to be played with, everything is long). It was something very important to him and was a tradition that he wanted to continue. We suffered through it and didn't understand it's significance until much later in life (when we began crying through the reading) and we are of course making our kids suffer through the same ritual in hopes that they will grasp the deep meaning of the book and the tradition of reading it at some time in their lives.
Andy had similar traditions in his house. That beautiful tradition of books and learning. His books were the Sam Campbell series chronicling the funny exploits of the wilderness and it's inhabitants. I had read these books also of course but Andy's dad actually got to meet the author and got his books signed therefore making them more of a fixture in their house than mine.
Today, Andy thought he would attempt to start the Sabbath afternoon tradition of reading out of these books (or some other Sabbathy book) to the kids therefore instilling quiet reflection as a Sabbath afternoon staple.
I captured the one moment of picturesque serenity this afforded on camera. Needless to say, this photo does not give justice to the beauty of a lovely fire and the sound of Dad's voice relating a tale of canoe trips and God's creation. After this brief moment what chaos ensued. Abby wanted to get out book after book to look at the pictures. Her up and down was accompanied by her whispers of, "Wait, Daddy. I need another story." Cate woke up and she was wiggling and wobbling all over. She need to be constantly rescued from touching the fire and she was hungry. After being fed, she mooed (yes, like a cow) and Abby started mooing back at her. Andy attempted to read over the din. There was an attempt by Mommy to soosh the kids but it was a futile attempt as toddlers are not to be quieted. I was reduced to snickering at Andy's attempts behind my needle point.
I know that he will soldier on next week and every week after that as one of the reasons I married him was for his quiet patience and perseverance. Hopefully, the kids will at least learn to lay back and listen for a while if not fully appreciate the thought and energy put into the book selection. Andy loves his girls and wants all the best for them and it is shown every time he passes on a tradition to them. Tonight, we eat fresh baked bread and Grandma Adams' Boston Baked Beans that will no doubt bring back memories and hopefully tie the girls to a long and glorious tradition of family togetherness.